Showing posts from April, 2021

Dancing With All Our Might

  2 Samuel 6; 1 Chronicles 13; Psalms 68; Matthew 17   “David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals…David, wearing a linen ephod, he danced before the Lord with all his might…” 2 Samuel 6:5, 14 Worship must involve all that we are if it is to be a sacrifice of praise. The freedom that we were created to enjoy with our Creator is expressed in worship. However, when we don’t know God or the freedom of expressing our love to him in worship, we look for other ways to find freedom. Alcohol and drugs have been a substitute for many in this generation. Davie initially danced and worshiped without reverence for God’s presence and in the ‘prescribed way’, and Uzziah died. David had copied the Philistines in how they transported the ark. When he moved it a second time, only Levites carried the ark and David wore the linen ephod as a priest before God. He still danced and worshiped w

The Lord Had Established Him

2 Samuel 4-5; Psalms 139; Matthew 16   “David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.”  2 Samuel 5:12 “…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16 “…I will build my church…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…” Matthew 16:18, 19 When leaders know that God has established them in their leadership positions, they are much more secure and at peace with their assignment. Leaders like David, know their leadership is not self-serving, but for the betterment of their people. When leaders surrender their lives and their gifts to God’s plan and purposes, they find fulfillment and freedom in the knowledge that their leadership journey is not about them. They are building Christ’s church; they are walking in Christ’s authority. Jesus declares to leaders who lead in the way of David, “I will build my church.” Our responsibility is to serve Christ’s

Men of Issachar

  2 Samuel 3; 1 Chronicles 12; Matthew 15   “men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do…They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel.” 1 Chronicles 12:32, 38 The men of Issachar were chiefs of family clans who understood they needed unified leadership under God. They were aware that disunity was preventing Israel from becoming God’s instrument on earth. They were men of action who did more than debate and discern. Their focus was to make David king over all Israel. Are we willing to make Jesus king over our lives and submit to his kingdom rule? Are we willing to leave behind our factions, dissension and pride, to unite with all other followers of Jesus Christ in his global mission? Do we understand the hour in which we are living, and are we willing to do all that Christ has commanded us? Christ’s call to “make disciples of all nations” is still operational. Will we unite under Christ’s authority and serve together for his missio

The Unity of the Kingdom

2 Samuel 2; 1 Chronicles 11; Psalms 142; Matthew 14 “The length of time David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.” 2 Samuel 2:11 “…‘Let’s have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us’…The battle that day was very fierce…” 12 Samuel 2:14, 17 What began as a ‘friendly’ wrestling match between two groups of young men one day, ended in significant casualties and fierce fighting. Why?   The house of Saul and the house of David represented different tribes in Israel aligned with two different leaders, and these two houses could not yet agree on a single leader. Without clarity on who our leader is, there will be conflict within the ranks. David knew that the house of Saul must voluntarily make him king, or his authority would not be legitimate. David was willing to wait while the tribes of Israel discerned and sometimes struggled, to decide who they would follow. Leadership in God’s kingdom is a sacred trust that is given, not

Calloused Hearts

  2 Samuel 1; Psalms 140; Matthew 13   “…‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’” Matthew 13:14, 15 Our spiritual senses of listening to God and perceiving or seeing his counsel to us are essential to our growth in his kingdom. This sensitivity to God’s communication to us is connected to the condition of our heart. When our heart is calloused, we have limited capacity to see and hear from God. Spiritual understanding comes when we respond to God’s invitation and turn our heart toward him and his ways. Our healing spiritually is connected to our heart’s posture toward God. Our heart can either be calloused, leading to limited capacity to hear or see God, or our heart can turn toward God and res

God’s Family

1 Samuel 30-31; 1 Chronicles 10; Matthew 12   “…‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’” Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’” Matthew 12:48-50 Jesus redefines family in his kingdom. Our entrance into this family is through Jesus the Son. He is the gate. Through Jesus we have relationship with our heavenly Father. It is those who do the Father’s will, not just have their sins forgiven or even know the Father’s will for their lives, but those who do the Father’s will, that Jesus calls family. In this family we have the opportunity to care for one another, and to support one another in living and following the will of our Father. This family crosses every culture and it is global. We have more in common with each other in this family than with our biological families. This new family of God is focused on the will of the Father and his kingdom mission. Whose fami

The Lord Did Not Answer Him

  1 Samuel 28-29; Psalms 109; Matthew 11   “When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, ‘Find me a woman who is a medium; so I may go and inquire of her.’” 1 Samuel 28:5-7 Why did Saul consult a medium when he had been chosen by God to lead his people? Saul had not invested in seeking the presence of the Lord. His leadership had not been built on obeying the voice of the Lord, but rather on winning the favor of men. All of us eventually face a crisis or an enemy so big that we can’t find a solution in our own understanding. We need God’s help. Saul’s battle with fear had been life-long, and only the love of God could have delivered him. However, he needed to go to God for that healing; something Saul was unwilling to do. Now, at the end of his life, he exposed his true heart and sought counsel from a medium. What will it take for us to

The ‘Best Thing’

1 Samuel 27; Psalms 141; 1 Chronicles 9; Matthew 10   “But David thought to himself, ‘One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.’” 1 Samuel 27:1 Fear causes us to rationalize many decisions and even claim them as God’s best for us.   When we are in the crucible of testing, what is the best thing we can do? In David’s mind it was to find refuge in the home city of Goliath, the Philistine giant. Gath was still home to a number of Goliath’s brothers, also to giants who would oppose Israel. It’s never the best thing to find refuge in the enemy’s camp. When we seek relaxation in sin we are actually harming ourselves, not finding the peace we are looking for. David was forced to kill many innocent people on his raids from Ziklag; he lied about those raids to the king of Gath. Eventually all of his possessions and fam

The King

  1 Samuel 25-26; Psalms 63; Matthew 9   “When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground…Please forgive your servants offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master…” 1 Samuel 25:23, 28 Abigail recognized and honored the king. David lived as a rejected outlaw and fugitive, but to Abigail, he was the king. She understood the big picture and humbled herself. Do we recognize the authority of the Lord Jesus? In a world that has rejected him, do we too humble ourselves before the Lord Jesus and seek his mercy and favor over our lives? Abigail eventually married David. She became the bride of the king and lived in the palace of David. Those who honor Christ now, he will honor later when he returns in the fullness of his glory to bring his kingdom to fulfillment. Let us seek his forgiveness and mercy now, while there is still time. “Lord Jesus, you are the King of all kings! Forgive my sin and rebellion

God’s Purposes

  1 Samuel 24; Psalms 57-58; 1 Chronicles 8; Matthew 8 “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge…I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me…let your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 57:1, 2, 5 Where is our security in life? Friends and even family will fail us, but God is never changing in his love for us. To take refuge in God is to surrender all of our fears, false gods and escape strategies to him - to tell him of our complete dependence on him and our dependence on his purposes for our life. Knowing and living those purposes for our lives is transformative. Knowing that God is faithful to establish his purposes for our lives is freeing; we don’t need to make them happen ourselves. David didn’t need to kill Saul to become king. David could trust in God’s timing, God’s provision and God’s way as he lived day by day in the dessert. David’s focus was God’s glory over all the earth, not just his own personal happiness. “Lord

Best Friend

1 Samuel 23; Psalms 31, 54; Matthew 7   “Saul’s son Jonathon went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.” 1 Samuel 23:16 A true friend takes us to God to find strength. Our friendships are a source of strength in themselves; however, they move to another level when we help each other find strength in God. The Holy Spirit was sent to the Church for this very reason. He is closer that a brother. The Holy Spirit desires to be our Comforter, our Counselor, our Strength and our Source of Peace in the storm. If we will get to know the Holy Spirit as our closest friend, we will never be alone. The Holy Spirit will pursue us and meet us where we are, even if it’s in a desert on the run, hiding and afraid. The Spirit’s words of comfort, encouragement and strength are exactly what we need in every situation. Will we befriend the Holy Spirit? “Lord Jesus, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit. Thank you for being my closest friend in every situation I face. Thank you.”